CULTIVATION VERSION OF THE EIGHT TEACHINGS OF THE TAETEA SYSTEM OF CHADAO PRACTICE

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CULTIVATION VERSION OF THE EIGHT TEACHINGS OF THE TAETEA SYSTEM OF CHADAO PRACTICE

SECTION I OVERVIEW

I. About this version

The essence of Chadao lies in comprehending the mysteries of the universe and the philosophy of life in the mundane routines of life. Zen Buddhists believe that one of the ways to understand the purpose of drinking tea is to understand the Zen Sect of Buddhism. There is Zen in tea, and Zen is to be understood through tea. The two can blend like milk and water. The common pursuit of tea and Zen is purification and elevation of the spiritual realm, which cm be summarized as “tea and Zen are one.” After going through the weal and woe of life, Lu Yu achieved spiritual enlightenment and became a sage through the study of tea.

The essence of Chadao lies in comprehending the mysteries of the universe and the philosophy of life in the mundane routines of life, Zen Buddhists believe that one of the ways to understand the purpose of drinking tea is to understand the Zen Sect of Buddhism. There is Zen in tea, and Zen is to be understood through tea. The two can blend like milk and water. The common pursuit of tea and Zen is purification and elevation of the spiritual realm, which can be summarized as “tea and Zen are one.” After going through the weal and woe of life, Lu Yu achieved spiritual enlightenment and became a sage through the study of tea.

The Eight Teachings are also a means of achieving enlightenment To better promote the Eight Teachings so that teaists may be able to study Chadao in their daily lives in simple, easy, elegant and accurate ways, the Taetea Academy of Chadao has devised this cultivation version.

This version, which focuses on the combination of tea ritual, communion and enlightenment, spiritual experience and elevation, can be used by practitioners to practice solo when spending time at home or practiced m the company of tea-loving friends. Under certain circumstances, it can also be performed in public to a bigger audience.

The ceremony should be performed at the right time (in peace and quiet), in the right place (or where it’s free from noise) and for the right people (those having a genuine love for or interest in the tea ceremony), with the right mentality (free from impatience or dejection) and appropriate tea wares (special Chadao tool kit), appropriate attire (apparel designed exclusively for Chadao practice), and appropriate arrangement (appropriate preparation). Teaists are supposed to meet the above requirements to the best of their ability and stay committed. In case the requirements are not met, they should wait and seek better time and opportunities.

Depending on the brewing tea Ware employed, the cultivation version of the Eight Teachings can further go in two versions: the purple clay pot version and the lidded bowl version. With just a few exceptions, the procedure or steps are basically the same. The main brewing vessel used for the Eight Teachings that we introduce in this chapter is the lidded bowl.

II. Preparations

1.Seating

a) When brewing tea on a table, have a table and chairs (or stools) ready,and place a low stand to the right of the seats.
b) If seated on the floor, have a floor mat ready and put a small stand and a round cushion on it, or simply sit on the floor. Tea wares needed for the cultivation version consist of the following: a lidded bowl set, a strainer set, gongdao cup, several sets of drinking cups ami saucers (number based on the number of attendants at the ceremony), a tea holder, a teaspoon, a pair of tea tongs, a tea tray, a tea towel, a hand towel, a stove and a water kettle (or electric kettle). We recommend use of the Zen Chadao Tool Kit specially designed and made by TAETEA Academy for practitioners.
Most of the above-mentioned items are included in the kit.

2.Utensils

When a purple clay teapot is chosen as the main brewing vessel, just replace the lidded bowl set with a set of purple clay teapot and a pot pad, without changing the remaining items. Lay out the utensils in the following format before beginning with the Chadao ceremony:

a) Spread out the tea mat on the table or directly on the floor before placing it in the center of the tea mat.
b) Put the tea tray or Chadao kit on the low stand on the right, or directly on the right side of the tea tray, and put beside it a brazier and a water kettle or electric kettle.
c) Put the clean hand towels on the tea mat at the lower left of the tea tray.

3.Tea leaves

Put an appropriate measure of Pu’er tea in the tea holder and place it by the Chadao kit on the left.

4.Boiled water

Bring a kettle of spring water to boil and keep it hot.

5.Music

Play music, usually classical Chinese music such as Three Refrains at Yangguang.

SECTION II CLEANSING

I. The teaist takes his seat

1.Procedure

a) The teaist takes slow, steady steps forward, and stops at the left edge of the tea mat.
b) Turn left, fold the two palms together and bow to the guests.
c) Make one step to the right, sit down with crossed legs. or kneel down on the floor mat.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Gracefully turn the body and stand straight.
b) Wear a peaceful and relaxed expression while greeting the guests.
c) Walk and sit elegantly and quietly, smiling.

II .Washing Hands

1.Procedure

a) Take a clean towel with the left hand and wipe the back and palm of the right hand.
b) Use the right hand to grab a clean towel and wipe the back and palm of the left hand.

2.Basic Requirement

a) Keep the body upright, and let the eyes move in coordination with the hand movements.
b) Slightly bend the thumb of the hand being rubbed and keep it from sticking out and pointing at people.
c) Clean up the hands gracefully instead of casually or haphazardly.

II.Meditating

1.Procedure

a) The teaist sits properly, with the head in the upright position and the chin slightly tucked in, and the shoulders naturally relaxing.
b) Place both hands palm up at the lower abdomen. Place the right hand flat cm the left, and press the thumbs casually together.
c) Slowly close the eyes, smile, and meditate for five to seven seconds.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Sit upright and stay joyful and relaxed.
b) Breathe at a normal and regular rate.
c) Maintain a solemn expression and close and open the eyc? softly and slowly.

SECTION III OPENING

I.Setting up the tea table

1.Procedure

a) Take out the lidded bowl from the Chadao Kit or tea tray on the right and put it right below the tea tray (in the six o’clock position),
b) Take out the gongdao cup and place it to the left of the lidded bawl so that they are on the same horizontal line.
c) Place the strainer on the upper left hand of the tea tray.
d) Put the drinking cups (in the 12 o’clock position) in front of or at the upper right hand of the tea tray.
e) Stack up the saucers in good order and place thorn on the tea the left of the tea tray.
f) Put the tea holder with tea leaves in it below the saucers.
g) Put the teaspoon and the tea tongs on the tea mat: to the right of the tea tray.
h) Place the tea towel on the tea mat below the tea tray.

The tea ware layout above is open to appropriate adjustment according to the size of the tea tray and the number of people on site.

2.Basic requirements

a) Act nimble, dexterous, smooth and steady, and demonstrate an internal sense of rhythm.
b) Better use both hands when taking tea wares from the Chadao kit or tea tray. Keep them at the chest and look straight at it for a second before setting it down in the proper position and let your eyes trace the movement of the during the process.
c) Each time a tea ware is put away, withdraw both hands, pause them below the tea tray for a second before taking other items.
) Put the tea wares in good order and avoid messiness.

Put all items in the right place all at once, without hiring to move them around multiple times.

SECTION IV AWAKENING

I. Warming up the bowl

1.Procedure

a) Lift the bowl lid with three fingers of the right hand, whisk it in a half circle anticlockwise before leaning it against the right rim of the bowl saucer.
b) Hold the kettle in the right hand and pour water out of it into the bowl,making a circle anti-clockwise.
c) Raise the water stream to the height of the cheeks before lowering it again. Stop when the bowl is filled half to two thirds full.
d) Put the kettle back where it was.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Remove the bowl lid in a gentle and graceful manner.
b) Keep the water flow steady and smooth.
c) Go soft and easy when putting down the water kettle.

II. Warming up the cups

1.Procedure

a) Grabbing the cup in the right hand and holding up its bottom in the left hand, pour the boiled water into the gongdao cup, put the cup back were it was,and cover it.
b) Hold the gongdao cup in the right hand, fill up the drinking cups with water one by one from left to to right. Tilt the water kettle up and down once and keep constant and well-distributed water flow during the process.
c) If water remains in the gongdao cup, empty it into the tea tray reservoir and put the gongdao cup back where it was.
d) Take the tea tongs in the right hand and pick up the drinking drinking one by one up above the tea tray reservoir; swirl the cup in a full circle anticlockwise, and dump the water into the reservoir below before putting the cup back where it was. Put the tea tongs back in their spots when done with the last cup.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Pour out the water in a skillful manner. Maintain uninterrupted and smooth water flow when filling up the cups.
b) When swirling the cups to warm them, keep the hands steady,and don’t shake them in a disorderly fashion.
c) Pour water gently. Empty the cups softly, without producing any splashes.

SECTION V MEASURING

I. Admiring the tea leaves

1.Procedure

a) lift the bowl lid with three fingers of the right hand and whisk it in a half circle anticlockwise before leaning it against the right rim of the bowl saucer.
b) Hold the ends of the tea holder in either hand and raise it slowly to the breast about 10 to 15 cm away from the chest,tilt the outer edge of the tea holder slightly down and avoid spilling out the tea.
c) Incline the body slightly forward to enjoy the tea.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Act elegantly and confidently
b) Eyes and gestures act in tempo in a natural and peaceful manner.

II. Adding the tea leaves

1.Procedure

a) Raise the tea holder to the chest
b) Grab a teaspoon in the right hand, and whisk the leaves in the tea holder into the bowl.
c) Put away the teaspoon and the tea holder back where they usually are.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Body movements should be gentle, graceful and coherent.
b) Be careful when whisking the tea leaves into the bowl lest they scatter.

SECTION VI CULTIVATING

I. Nourishing the tea leaves

1.Procedure

a) Grab the kettle in the right hand and pour hot water onto fixed points along the interior of the bow.
b) Put back the kettle where it was and put a lid on it.
c) Wait for six to ten seconds. Move the lid of the cup to the right, leave a crack at the edge, hold the lid down with a forefinger, and clench the upper part of the bowl with the thumb and middle finger, lift it up and pour the first brew into the tea tray reservoir.
d) Return the cup to its usual spot and put the lid back on.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Keep the water stream evenly distributed, fluent, to the point and avoid hitting the tea leaves directly.
b) Handle the water kettle in a gentle manner.
c) Drain all of the tea broth.

II. Filling up the cup with a salute

1.Procedure

a) Lift the lid with three fingers of the left hand and 1^ it stay upper left in the air.
b) Hold the kettle in the left hand, pour water into the tea using the high-flush and low-pouring technique, which is to fill up the cup by slowly pulling up the water stream before slowly lowering it so that the water current may rise and fall three times as the cup gets filled up.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Mate sure the water stream stays well-distributed and smooth,.
b) Keep the water flow at an appropriate speed.

III. Rewashing the tea leaves

1.Procedure

a) Grab the cup lid in the left hand and skim the on the rim of the cup anticlockwise.
b) Move the cup lid above the tea tray reservoir, hold the in die right hand and rinse the underside of the lid.
c) Put the water kettle back where it was, and put the cup lid back on the cup.

2.Bask Requirements

a) Move gently but swiftly
b) Scrape off the foam gently from the interior of the avoid dog it m the direction of the guests.

IV. Filling up the gongdao cup

1.Procedure

a) Place a strainer on the gongdao cup with the left hand.
b) Use three fingers of the right hand to move the bowl lid to the right so as to leave a crack at the edge of the cup. Next, lift the cup and move it over the gongdao cup and pour the tea broth therein.
c) Put the tea cup back where it was and the strainer back on the strainer rack.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Keep the shoulders and elbows down, and do not raise the arms when pouring out the tea. Keep the movements coherent and graceful.
b) When removing the strainer, scrape off the remaining broth along the rim of the gongdao cup and keep things clean, tidy and orderly.

SECTION VII EXPERIENCING

I. Taksting a fresh brew

1.Procedure

a) Take a saucer in the left hand and bold it at the chest and use the right hand to put the drinking cup upfront on the saucer. Hold the saucer in bath hands and place the drinking cup on the tea mat in front of the guest.
b) Hold the gongdao cup in the right hand, pour some tea broth into the cup in front, and then put the cup back where was.
c) lake up the drinking cup in the right hand, take I sip and smile.

2.Basic Requirements

a) When moving the drinking cup to the chest, move it from above the left edge of tim tea tray, without going over or posing through other tea wares.
b) Hold the cup in a dignified and graceful manner.
c) Focus on drinking the tea and savor it with the hearts.

I. Tasting a fresh brew

1.Procedure

a) Take a saucer in the left hand and hold it at the chest and use the right hand to put the drinking cup upfront on the saucer. Hold the saucer in both hands and place the drinking cup on the tea mat in front of the guest.
b) Hold the gongdao cup in the right hand, pour some tea broth into the cup in front, and then put the cup back where it was.
c) Take up the drinking cup in the right hand, take a sip and smile.

2.Basic Requirements

a) When moving the drinking cup to the chest, move it from above the left edge of the tea tray, without going over or passing through other tea wares.
b) Hold the cup in a dignified and graceful manner.
c) Focus on drinking the tea and savor it with the heart.

II. Showing the cup

1.Procedure

a) If there is company present after tasting the broth, the teaist should push the cup slightly forward with both hands and nod gently to indicate that the taste is just right.
b) If there is no company, skip the act above and put the drinking cup back on the saucer.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Wear a natural and graceful expression.
b) Smile and nod slightly and not overdo.

SECTION VIII SHARING

I. Sharing the tea

1.Procedure

a) When drinking tea alone, hold the gongdao cup in the left hand and fill the cup till it’s seven tenths full.
b) If there is company, hold the gongdao cup in the left hand and pour tea into the drinking cups on the tea tray till they are each seven tenths full.
c) Have a saucer in the left hand, and hold it in front. Take a cup of tea from the tea tray with the right hand and put it on the saucer. Hold the saucer in both hands and put it on the upper tea mat for the guest to drink.
d) Following the same procedure, move all drinking cups from the tea tray and place them in front of the guests one after another. Keep going this way until every guest has been presented with a cup of tea.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Distribute the tea in appropriate order.
b) Act gentle to prevent spillover and distribute the tea in the same proportions.

II. Drinking the tea in peace and quietude

1.Procedure

a) Take up the served cup and drink from it.
b) If there is company, extend the right hand to invite the guests to drink.
c) Hold the tea cup in the fashion of “three dragons guarding a tripod.” Turn up the left palm to hold the cup and raise the drinking cup to the chest. Bend to form a 60-degree angle with the table and invite the guests to drink.
d) Drink when done with the ritual.

2.Basie Requirements

a) Smile to show your goodwill and sincerity.
b) Go slow when serving tea to the guests.

SECTION IX FINISHING

I. Drinking the tea and giving thanks

1.Procedure

a) Drink up what is inside the teacup, and put the cup back on the saucer.
b) If there are guests, toast one another and give thanks to one another.
c) Dump the tea residue into the tea tray reservoir, power off the electric kettle or turn off the alternative heating device.

2.Basic Requirements

a) Empty the cup slowly.
b) Look calm and intent.

II. Putting away the tea wares

1.Procedure

a) Collect all tea wares in the order of last in, first out. Either put them in the tea tray or by the Chadao tool kit for washing.
b) The procedural order for putting back the items is as follows: teaspoons and pincers,drinking cups, saucers, tea holders, strainers, gongdao cups, and bowls with lids.
c) Wipe off water off the tea tray surface with a tea towel.
d) When done cleaning up, sit still and rest for a minute. If there is no company, then leave when done. If there is company, fold the hands together to salute the guests before calling it a day.

2.Basic Requirements

a) When putting away the tea wares, take up each item and rest it at the chest, look at it squarely one second before putting it back. The eyes should move with the wares.
b) Let the hands pause a second at the table before reaching for the next item.
c) When the guests are gone, clean all the tea wares and have them dried before putting them back into the Chadao tool kit in good order.
d) When through with the entire procedure, readjust the body to its usual state.

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